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Published on November 14th, 2017 | by Emma Preston

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Bomb threats target Samo

On Friday, Oct. 20, students were alarmed to hear the announcement that Samo received a bomb threat earlier that afternoon and were to evacuate campus immediately.

During fifth period, word spread around quickly that a few of the buildings at Samo were on lockdown, though this turned out to be a rumor.

“I didn’t want to create a panic, so I told everybody that if there was a kid out to send them back to class,” Shelton said.

Later on, during sixth period, Samo sent out an email to all parents informing them that Samo switchboard received an automated message around 2:30 pm saying that there were bombs on campus set to go off at 3:10 p.m. As a result, Samo students were to end school early and leave campus at 2:45 p.m.

“Someone recorded this crazy sounding voice, and then put it up to the phone and said that there would be a bomb at 3:10,” Shelton said.

As a result of hundreds of kids trying to leave campus and worried parents trying to pick up their kids all at the same time, the traffic was chaotic around Samo. Pico Blvd. was blocked off because of the hectic traffic, which only added to the stress of students and parents trying to connect.

“I had to walk to up to Olympic and around the back to get to my car. I just remember sitting in my car after getting out of the garage and sitting in total gridlock trying to get onto the freeway. It seemed like a very inefficient way to get off and away from campus quickly,” Hannah Sabbe (’18) said.

With thousands of students trying to evacuate Samo at the same time, it was surely not an easy situation to handle for administrators trying to keep everyone safe. The advisors, all the administrators and about ten police officers went and swept regions of the campus to ensure the campus was safe for any activities happening on campus after school.

They determined that the the boys water polo match against Malibu High School scheduled for after school that day would have to be canceled, but the homecoming football game at SMC was on schedule.

“We were told a few minutes later, after the announcements, that we wouldn’t have a game. Coach Flanders told us this as he walked in,” varsity water polo player Aaron Akhavan (’20) said. “Coach Flanders strictly tells the girls and boys water polo to exit out of the pool to Olympic or Michigan.”

That same night, Zoot Suit was scheduled to open at Samo in the humanities center. After searching the English building, it was determined that it was safe to keep the performance on schedule.

“I was worried about the play being cancelled. Our teacher sent a remind saying stand by, so we had no idea of what was going to happen,” Parker Lauer (’20) said. “Getting back on campus wasn’t bad at all though, there weren’t cops anymore. The only thing was that not as many people showed up to our show because of the bomb threat so that was a little bit of a let down. Overall though, it ended up well and I’m happy we still had a successful show”.

Later that night, Samo sent out a follow up email explaining that when SMPD had conducted the sweep of the campus earlier, they had come across a suspicious package. As a result, they had decided to bring in bomb-sniffing dogs to ensure there was no other threat on campus.

“The people will be prosecuted, if and when they are found. They have not found anyone yet, but Homeland Security is working on it,” Shelton said.    

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